Fri, 30 Sep 2022

Gilgit Baltistan [PoK], September 21 (ANI): The people of Gilgit Baltistan protested against state-backed exclusion and corruption in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and demanded the civil government resolve their issues.

"I want to tell the government that we are youth of Gilgit Baltistan, we know fighting for our rights. I demand the civil government resolve our issues. I demand them to reign the people who want to encroach on our properties. The authorities would be responsible for the consequences," one of the protesters said.

While another protester gave the civil government ten-day times to resolve thier issues.

"I want to tell the government that if you can collapse Nawaz Sharif-led government in the region, then the people of Gilgit Baltistan can also collapse the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government. We are demanding for our rights. We are giving that civil government ten days to resolve our issues," he said.

There are several instances of land grabbing in PoK and Gilgit Baltistan by the Pakistan Army. In a declaration, the United Kashmir People's National Party (UKPNP) strongly condemned growing land grabbing in the region, where military, non-state actors and other influential people are illegally and forcefully seizing private and public property, hilltops and tourist resorts like Peer Chanasi Hill Top in Muzaffarabad district.

"These holiday resorts belonged to the people of this region, where people freely went with their families. After seizing these holiday resorts, military and non-state actors restricted access to the entire area by erecting barbed wire, and no one is allowed to enter. If someone ignores their instructions, orders are to shoot him on sight", the declaration said.

There is continuous dissent against the existing land laws in Gilgit-Baltistan. The population wants to repeal the old Khalsa Sarkar (state land) rules 1978 and subsequent laws related to it.

Under this law, all the barren land in the state is under government ownership, thereby, establishments are usurping the natives of their rights.

Pakistan Army and Government acquire these lands from local people and forcefully evict the local population to make deliberate demographic changes.

In the new offices, which are then established on these lands, the government employees and the non-GB population are placed, therefore, the local people are left with no option but to move to other parts of the country for employment. (ANI)

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